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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

UP 2022 polls: RLD kicks off Dalit outreach, to cover 13 districts

Led by journalist-turned-politician Prashant Kanojia, the RLD’s two-month campaign will cover 13 districts.

Written by Amil Bhatnagar | Saharanpur |
Updated: August 8, 2021 7:54:50 am
Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Jayant Chaudhary addresses during 'Kisan Panchayat' in Bajana near Mathura, Friday, March 19, 2021. (PTI Photo)

The Rashtriya Lok Dal kicked off its 2022 UP election campaign with a Dalit outreach programme in West UP. Through its ‘Nyaya Yatra’, the party is looking to consolidate Dalit votes by carrying out public meetings and rallies.

Led by journalist-turned-politician Prashant Kanojia, the RLD’s two-month campaign will cover 13 districts. The yatra itenary for each district comprises multiple stoppages where party workers will interact with locals and visit Valmiki temples.

According to RLD functionaries, the party will contest the UP polls in alliance with Samajwadi Party — RLD national convenor Jayant Chaudhary and SP leader Akhilesh Yadav had addressed a joint rally in Mathura earlier this year on the farmer issues. While mahapanchayats held by the RLD are being seen as a bid to unite Jat Gurjar votes in West UP, a similar focus is now on OBC communities in the region for further support.

“The principles of the constitution need to be emphasized again in this regime since there are blatant violations of the rights of the people. Especially when it comes to Dalits and other under represented sections of the society. RLD is committed to their cause and this programme represents the same. We have a set of demands and issues concerning the most ignored sections of the society will be raised. We will go door to door to ensure that the voice of the poorest is heard,” said Prashant Kanojia, who was arrested by the UP Police last year for allegedly spreading “communal disharmony” with a social media post.

On Saturday, an RLD convoy set out from Dak Bungalow in Deoband to various areas in Saharanpur, and addressed a crowd in Sheikhpura village.

The party is looking to raise the issue of the Hathras gang rape and murder case aggressively as a large-scale demonstration is being planned in the victim’s district by party workers.

“What happened to our daughter in Hathras cannot happen to anyone else…The only way we can protect our community is if we support each other. We will be emphasising on our demands. Instead of manual scavenging, cleaning should be mechanised because many Dalits lose their lives due to this malpractice. We are also demanding Rs 4 lakh for the kin of those who died during Covid,” said Kanojia.

Since Saharanpur is also Azad Samaj Party’s base in West UP, the choice of starting the Nyay Yatra with this district had a strategy, said party officials. Even while Chandrashekhar Azad is keen on forging a grand alliance with opposition parties, ASP is unlikely to figure in the SP-RLD equation, said party sources.

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